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The whiteness of the clouds is due to light of all colors being dispersed by the water/ice of the clouds. Clouds quite a distance away appear yellow due to the blue wavelengths being dispered more than the yellow and red wavelengths by the air and particles in the air (the 'clear' sky is blue!)

Not all clouds are pure white, however, for those that are white, it is due to their altitude and the reflection of sunlight.

For example, a cirrus cloud has an altitude of approximately 8km above sea level. At such extreme altitudes all high-level clouds are made up only of ice crystals, as the water vapor from which they are initially formed has frozen.

The ice crystals reflect sunlight. When flying above clouds during the day, they are always bright white. When we get dark clouds, they are so thick that they soak up most of the sunlight or reflect it upwards, and so things aren't as bright below. Storm clouds are the thickest clouds, and look the darkest from down below, though they still look bright white if we see them from above.

Gray color of the clouds is caused by higher clouds casting their shadow on lower-based clouds, or that the clouds are so dense that their top parts absorb most of the sunlight, casting their own shadow along their base, making them dark on the bottom.

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โˆ™ 2012-06-17 14:40:44
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Nikon Chakma

Lvl 5
โˆ™ 2021-07-28 05:04:47

Clouds are white because light from the Sun is white. As light passes through a cloud, it interacts with the water droplets, which are much bigger than the atmospheric particles that exist in the sky.

When sunlight reaches an atmospheric particle in the sky, blue light is scattered away more strongly than other colors, giving the impression that the sky is blue.

But in a cloud, sunlight is scattered by much larger water droplets. These scatter all colors almost equally meaning that the sunlight continues to remain white and so making the clouds appear white against the background of the blue sky.

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Luke Smith

Lvl 4
โˆ™ 2019-11-30 00:36:26

clouds are actually black but are just kind o

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Q: Why are clouds white?
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